The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages experienced birders to become citizen scientists by helping with the National Audubon Society’s 120th Annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5 – including about 20 counts in Missouri.
The CBC is an annual winter bird census where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many other countries in the Western Hemisphere count birds over a 24-hour period between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Christmas Bird Counts gather data on winter bird populations to track their long-term trends. Each CBC has a coordinator that assigns portions of a 15-mile diameter count circle to participants to count all birds seen and heard. Learn more at audubon.org/conservation/join-christmas-bird-count.
Missouri hosts about 20 CBCs, some of which are listed below. If interested in participating, contact the CBC organizer listed.
- Big Oak Tree State Park on Dec. 17 – Contact Bill Eddleman at email@example.com;
- Big Spring on Jan. 3 – Contact Steve Paes at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 20 – Contact Bruce Schuette at email@example.com;
- Cole Camp Prairies on Dec. 27 – Contact Ryan Steffens at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Columbia on Dec. 14 – Contact Laura Hillman at email@example.com;
- Confluence on Jan. 1 – Contact Randy Korotev at firstname.lastname@example.org; and
- Grand River on Dec. 14 – Contact Terry McNeely at email@example.com;
- Kansas City/Unity Village on Dec. 29 – Contact Mike Stoakes at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Liberal on Jan. 3 – Contact Dana Hoisington at email@example.com;
- Maramec Springs on Dec. 21 – Contact Louise Wilkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Mingo National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 14 – Contact Bill Eddleman at email@example.com;
- Poplar Bluff on Dec. 20 – Contact Bruce Beck at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Prairie State Park on Jan. 3 – Contact Dana Hoisington at email@example.com;
- St. Joseph on Dec. 14 – Contact Tom Nagel at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 1 – Contact Steve Kinder at email@example.com.
- Trimble (Smithville Lake) on Dec. 14 – Contact Kristi Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Weldon Spring on Dec. 15 – Contact Anne McCormack at email@example.com;
For a full list of CBCs, visit audubon.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=fadfb421e95f4949bde20c29a38228bd.
MDC State Ornithologist Sarah Kendrick offers these CBC tips:
- If you’ve never participated in a CBC, tell the organizer so they can place you with experienced birders.
- Share your level of birding knowledge when you contact the CBC organizer so they can make sure you’re with a team with the experience to properly identify birds seen or heard.
- Dress warmly. Most CBCs will be held regardless of weather unless inclement weather is dangerous.
- Bring snacks and beverages to stay fueled for a long day.
For more information on Missouri birds, visit MDC’s online Field Guide at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/search.